Kanter was scheduled to host a free basketball camp at the Islamic Center of Long Island this weekend.

By Alaa Abdeldaiem
July 24, 2019

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter has been forced to cancel a free basketball camp in Long Island due to increasing pressure from the Turkish government, Kanter announced on Wednesday.

In an email obtained by the New York Daily News, Kanter said his decision came after the Turkish consulate in New York City allegedly threatened the Islamic Center of Long Island and "sent out their goons and encouraged people in Turkey to call the mosque and leave threatening messages."

The camp would have been his 34th across 25 different states. According to Kanter, the event was supposed to be held "as a part of charity and giving back to all communities, whether they are Jewish, Muslim, Christian or have no faith at all."

Kanter, 27, is an outspoken critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and has been threatened with imprisonment in the past. The Turkish government canceled Kanter's passport and charged him with terrorist ties in May 2017. Boston's big man will likely be arrested if he returns to Turkey under Erdogan's rule.

"I will remain focused on trying to create a better world and environment for the youth while these arrogant thugs try to spread their tentacles into American society," Kanter wrote. "I hope in the future the communities in America realize they have freedom and do not have to bow down to dictatorship."

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